CND Day 4 – USA’s plenary statement on drug demand reduction

The US strongly supports the collection of trends and it is essential that timely and reliable data be analysed for proper assessments. Data collection and analysis can highlight deadly new drug trends, such as use of ATS or hallucinogens. Heavy drug users in the US consume the majority of drugs, therefore tailoring treatment to this population could have a significant impact on the drug market. From emergency care centres to treatment providers, this is essential.

It is very important to address drugged driving. While citizens have a clear understanding of the dangers of drunk driving, drug driving is far less high profile and the speaker urged states the draw attention to this problem.

There have been challenges addressing marijuana use and use of prescription drugs. These two are the top two for initial drug use.

The speaker emphasised the US’s profound commitment to prevention, treatment and recovery support services. Roughly 5 billion of federal government funds are used for prevention and the federal government estimates that when other sources are included roughly $20 billion USD annually is spent on prevention.

The US does not use the term harm reduction because it means many different things to different people. The term inspires passionate debate even when people agree with another on initiatives. The speaker argued that it is sometimes used to cloak legalisation and decriminalisation which the US does not support.

The US supports needle and syringe exchange programmes. In conjunction with outreach and counselling, it can be effective in bringing people to treatment services. Drug addiction is a treatable chronic disease. However, the US does not support drug consumption room. Such differences in policies are one reason the US does not support the term harm reduction.

Using the best evidence and experience available, the US will analyse strategy and objectives to gauge their effectiveness. Policies and practices such as NSPs, OSTs, access to ARVs, prevention of STIs, targeted information and education to IDUs, prevention diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis, prevention diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis are all projects and programmes the US supports

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